New First Grade Teacher – Mrs. Tahmouch

Mr. Robert Pyles, Principal of Our Lady of Refuge School, is pleased to announce that Mrs. Jessica Tahmouch is joining our school faculty as our new 1st grade Teacher.

Mrs. Tahmouch grew up in Farmington and moved to Grand Rapids where she attended Grand Valley State University earning her Bachelors Degree in Group Social Studies and Elementary Education.  She previously taught three years at a charter school in Dearborn.

“I am very excited to join the OLR staff and look forward to meeting each child and family throughout the school year and working with you for a successful year in first grade!”

Mr. Pyles commented, “I am pleased to have Mrs. Tahmouch join our faculty.  Her experience will be a key asset as we continue to develop and strengthen our curriculum to meet the needs of our students both today and into the future.”

OLR Parish School IOWA Test Scores 2013 – 2014

The IOWA test scores for the 2013 – 2014 school year that Mr. Pyles recently reviewed with the Parents’ Club are now available online in pdf format.

Click here to view and/or download the file.  The file is also available through a link that has been added to the “About” navigation bar menu item.

Please direct any questions to Mr. Pyles.

New Fifth Grade Teacher – Katie Garber

Mr. Robert Pyles, Principal of Our Lady of Refuge School, is pleased to announce that Mrs. Katie Garber is returning to the school faculty as our full time 5th grade Teacher.  Mrs. Garber was a substitute teacher at OLR last year.

Mrs. Garber, her husband and daughter moved back to Michigan last year after living in Chicago for eleven years.  She taught 4th grade for 8 years in Chicago and loves teaching the intermediate grades.

“I believe that learning happens in many ways and teachers need to use multiple teaching strategies so that each child can reach their full potential.  I also think it’s important that students, teachers, and parents need to communicate in order for children to become life-long learners, critical thinkers, and responsible citizens.  So please let me know if you have any questions or concerns, I am looking forward to a great school year!”

Mr. Pyles commented, “I am pleased to have Mrs. Garber join our faculty on a full time basis. Her experience and familiarity with OLR will be a key asset as we continue to develop and strengthen our curriculum to meet the needs of our students both today and into the future.”

New Science and Sixth Grade Religion Teacher – Mrs. Jayne Babcock

Mr. Robert Pyles, Principal of Our Lady of Refuge School, is pleased to announce that Mrs. Jayne Babcock is joining the school faculty as our new Science and Six Grade Religion Teacher.

Mrs. Babcock grew up in the Birmingham Public Schools system and attended Albion College, where she earned her BA in education with a science endorsement.  She was also part of the Albion College Women’s soccer team.  She has since earned my Masters in Education from Oakland University.

For the past six years, Mrs. Babcock has taught seventh grade science and sixth grade social studies at St. Regis Catholic School in Bloomfield Hills.  She is also a certified catechist and looks forward to developing a deeper faith with her sixth grade students. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband Mike, who also teaches middle school in Birmingham, and with her 16-month-old daughter, Tess. 

“I am very excited to join the Refuge middle school staff for the coming year as your science and sixth grade religion teacher.  I have a strong passion for science and look forward to exploring the world with your sons and daughters.”

Mr. Pyles commented, “I am pleased to have Mrs. Babcock join our faculty. She will play a key role in our efforts to continue to expand and enrich the Science program that we offer our students at Our Lady of Refuge Parish School.”


Telephone Notification System

As most parents already know, Our Lady of Refuge School has implemented an important new technology enhancement to help facilitate rapid and effective communications from the school.  The new system provided by One Call Now enables Robert Pyles, our principal, and Debra Richards, our secretary, to quickly and efficiently send telephone notifications to all parents.  The system supports both “information” and “urgent” message options.  The value of the system was demonstrated on October 20th, when Mr. Pyles was able to send out an urgent notification to inform and reassure parents when the school experienced a loss of electrical power. 

We are continuing to learn more about the system and plan to implement additional features over time.  This will include the ability to use the system to provide notifications for other school activities including sports and other events.  The system allows us to tailor the delivery so that messages are sent to only those parents and others to which they apply.   We also plan to provide more information regarding the system on the website.  This will include the ability for parents to update their contact telephone numbers. 

Now that the system is launched, there is one very important item for all parents to note:  The CallerID that will appear on all messages sent from the school is 877.698.3261.  This is the toll free One Call Now number.  When you see an incoming call from this number, it indicates the call is a notification from Our Lady of Refuge School.

Class of 1962 Reunion – Saturday, August 6, 2011

The reunion was a great success, Per Susan Alkire Reichle: “We had 32 Classmates attend the Reunion with a total of 49 guests”.  The event was held in Father Bartol Hall and was followed by a PARTY ON Brunch Sunday, August 7th.

Check out the “before” and “after” photos from the reunion that were passed along to us by Susan.

Thanks Susan!  May God continue to bless you and all the members of the Class of 1962.

Here are some photos from the reunion . . .

Click on an individual image for a larger view.  Click on the image again to exit.

New Physical Education Teacher – Mr. Zachary Hilbers

Mr. Robert Pyles, Principal of Our Lady of Refuge School, is pleased to announce that Mr. Zachary Hilbers is joining the school faculty as our new Physical Education Teacher.  Mr. Hilbers is a graduate of the Michigan State University Teacher Education Program. In the years following his graduation he has taught grades K-12 in West Bloomfield and Walled Lake Public Schools. In his teacher career he has taught Physical Education, while being a long-term substitute teacher in Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

Mr. Pyles commented, “I am pleased to have Mr. Hilbers join our faculty.  Physical Education is an important part of every student’s day.  Mr. Hilbers will play a key role in helping us to continue to strengthen the program at OLR.”

Click here to view Mr. Hilbers’ full bio.

New Math Teacher – Mrs. Katie Embree

Mr. Robert Pyles, Principal of Our Lady of Refuge School, is pleased to announce that Mrs. Katie Embree is joining the school faculty as our new Math Teacher.  Mrs. Embree earned her teaching certificate from the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM) and spent the past school year at Larson Middle School in Troy where she completed her student teaching in seventh and eighth grade Algebraic Thinking, Algebra, Honors Algebra, and Honors Geometry. Upon completion of her student teaching, Mrs. Embree served as the school’s math tutor and later led Honors Geometry and Algebra classes as a long-term substitute teacher.

Mr. Pyles commented, “I am very excited to have Mrs. Embree join our faculty.  Her strength in Mathematics will bring a new dimension to the curriculum and learning experience that we are able to offer our students at OLR.”

Click here to view Mrs. Embree’s full bio.

New School Website Launches July 4th

Welcome to the new Our Lady of Refuge School website!

We are excited to announce the launch of the new school website on July 4, 2011.

The goals of the website are:

  • Share school information in a helpful and easy to access format
  • Facilitate communications between the school, the parish, parents and other stakeholders
  • Help to market the school to current and prospective parents and students
  • Represent the school in a positive manner to all website visitors

Over the next several weeks, we will be adding content to the new website.  We plan to have the website fully in place by the time school starts in late August.

Please direct and comments and/or suggestions to Scott Simpson

New School Principal – Mr. Robert Pyles


Former West Bloomfield School Administrator Takes Top Position at OLR School

Father McEnhill, Pastor at Our Lady of Refuge Parish, has announced the hiring of Robert Pyles as the new principal of Our Lady of Refuge School. Mr. Pyles is well known in the community, having spent 20 years as an administrator in the West Bloomfield School District, including the principal position at Scotch Elementary, Abbott Middle School and West Bloomfield High School.

Mr Pyles is known for his excellent leadership skills, active involvement in daily school workings, and for bringing out the best in students and faculty around him. He has lead the schools in reading initiatives, math programs and instituted additional instructional programs that ensure success for his students. He is well respected by his faculty, staff and students alike. When asked, Mr. Pyles commented, “I am very excited to be part of Our Lady Of Refuge school and church. I am looking forward to meeting the students, staff and parents. Together we will make this the best learning environment and experience for kids.”

On Tuesday, July 5, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, all are invited to a “Welcome the New Principal” gathering. This day was very appropriately chosen because it is the feast day of Our Lady of Refuge. It will commence with a prayer at the Marian Garden, near the church, in honor of our Blessed Mother and then there will be a barbecue to welcome Mr. Pyles. For more information, please call the school at 248.682.3422.

When asked, Father McEnhill stated, “I am very excited about our new principal and I know parents will be also. Mr. Pyles has an excellent reputation, as he is one of the best principals in all of Oakland County. We are truly blessed to have him. I am very grateful.”

Mr. Pyles is married with three children. He is a practicing Catholic and looks forward to this new experience at OLR that allows him to be involved in the spiritual growth of our children.

If you would like more information on this topic, or about Our Lady of Refuge school, contact Debra Richards, at or 248-682-3422.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This